Reed, D., J. Chen, M. Abraha, G. P. Robertson, and K. Dahlin. 2020. The shifting role of mRUE for regulating ecosystem production. Ecosystems 23:359-369.
To create a comprehensive view of ecosystem resource use, we integrated parallel resource use efficiency observations into a multiple-resource use efficiency (mRUE) framework using a dynamic factor analysis model. Results from 56 site-years of eddy covariance data and mRUE factors for a site in the US Midwest show temporal dynamics and coherence (using Pearson’s R) among resources are associated with interannual variation in precipitation. Loading factors are derived from mRUE observations and quantify how strongly data are connected to the underlying ecosystem state. Water and light resource use loading factors are coherent at annual timescales (Pearson’s R of 0.86), whereas declining patterns of carbon use efficiency loading factors highlight the ecosystem’s trade-off between carbon uptake and respiration during the growing season. At annual and monthly timescales, influence decreases from ~ 85 to ~ 65% for loading factors for carbon use, while influence of light use loading factors peaks to ~ 60% at growing season timescales. Quantifying variation in ecosystem function provides novel insights into the temporal dynamics of changing importance of multiple resources to ecosystem function.
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